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Hello, Butterball?

This morning I am taking some time to reflect on the first Thanksgiving. Not the one with the Pilgrim’s.

No, I was reminiscing about Thanksgiving 1981. Newly married and Russ newly employed, we were saving travel to see family for Christmas and New Year. I was excited to have our first holiday in our apartment.

This was pre-google, Pinterest, Food Network days. Truly the dark ages. The only resources I had were the Better Homes and Garden cookbook from our wedding and the advice picked up from more experienced turkey cooks. Word on the street was to employ the use of the new-fangled cooking bags. You couldn’t mess up a turkey with one of those babies. Having never touched a raw turkey, it sounded good to me.

So I gathered all the necessary parts of what I thought Thanksgiving meal should offer and set to work while Russ settled in for a marathon of football games.

Following the directions: I floured the bag and washed the bird and marveled at how low the oven should be set to cook it, reasoning that the plastic must be the issue. I remember mentioning to Russ how our oven setting didn’t even have a number that low. In between plays on the screen, he blinked and kind of nodded in agreement.

Being a Home Ec major (seriously…. I was), I timed the start of everything else and alternated between watching my new husband watch football and preparing the remaining side dishes. From time to time, I would check on the turkey which seemed to be looking pretty much the same as when I put it in the oven.

With only a half hour to go til dinner, I wondered what miracle of science it would take to transform this late bloomer into a roasted delight. This was getting interesting. Again I expressed this enigma to Russ. Again he blinked and nodded encouragingly.

Even though he didn’t seem phased, I was starting to doubt. I decided to look at the directions one more time. That was when I saw the fine print….bake TO INTERNAL temperature of 170 degrees….oh….that’s different….

Yes yes…in my rush and ignorance, I had only looked for a time and temperature without reading thoroughly. Hurrying, I took the first number I saw. Being in uncharted waters, I did not have enough knowledge to question the “facts”.

We can do that with our Bibles. Pick them up and look for an answer that suits the situation we are dealing with. But if we just pull out a “fact” without digging into the directions, we could end up with half baked results.

As for our first Thanksgiving, I set the dial to 350 and dinner was a little late. I also learned to be thankful that back to back football covers a multitude of sins.

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